Today marks one year before New Zealand starts making the full switch to digital television in stages, and viewers who are not already watching digital should start planning their switch now, says Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman.
Hawke’s Bay and West Coast will be the first regions to farewell the old analogue signal on 30 September 2012. In both regions eight out of 10 households have already gone digital.
‘’With 12 months until the first regions start the switch, it’s a good time to plan ahead and prepare for digital television,’’ says Dr Coleman.
‘’People in Hawke’s Bay and West Coast need to get Freeview or Sky to keep watching their favourite shows before the analogue signal ends next year. Going digital means more channels, better pictures and new services such as electronic programme guides, so it's pretty compelling for viewers.
‘’Besides the benefits for viewers, going digital offers significant benefits to New Zealand. Freeing up the spectrum, which will be ideal for 4G technologies, will generate wider economic benefits which are estimated to be worth between $1.1 billion and $2.4 billion over 20 years.’’
After Hawke’s Bay and West Coast, switchover will occur for the rest of the South Island in April 2013 and for the lower North Island, Taranaki and Gisborne in September 2013. The rest of the North Island will switchover in December 2013.
More information on Going Digital is available from www.goingdigital.co.nz or by phoning 0800 838 800.